The Philippines is ready to defend its title in the premier division of the 33rd King’s Cup World Sepak Takraw Championships.

Ranged against the best sepak players from 31 other countries, the Filipinos left for Nakhon Rachasima in Thailand during the weekend in time for today’s opening that will run until September 30.

Aside from aiming to retain the crown in the men’s doubles category, they will also vie for gold medals in other events—hoop, regu quadrant and regu team.

“We wish the Philippine sepak takraw team the best of luck. We’re confident that they are capable of replicating the achievement,” Go For Gold top executive Jeremy Go said during the team’s send-off at the Mall of Asia on Sunday.

Seasoned players Rheyjey Ortouste, Ronsited Gabayeron, and Emmanuel Escote will spearhead the men’s team along with Joshua Gleen Bullo, Alvin Pangan, John Carlo Lee and John John Bobier.

Joining the trip backed by Go For Gold and the Philippine Sports Commission are John Jeffrey Morcillos, Joeart Jumawan, Nestleer Bandivas, Christian George Encabo and Regie Reznan Pabriga.

“We know that they will make our country proud like they have done before,” said Go, Vice President of Powerball Marketing and Logistics Corporation.

Forming the women’s squad are Mary Melody Taming, Abegail Sinogbuhan, Gelyn Evora, Josefina Maat, Jean Marie Sucalit, Jea Mae Pepito, Jocielle Fernandez, Aisa Sabellita, Allyssa Bandoy and Lhaina Lheil Mangubat.

Coaches Rodolfo Eco, Hector Memarion, Metodio Suico Jr. and Junmar Aleta will coach the men’s team while Romulo Ruedas Jr., Esperidion Rodriguez, Gena Mark Saavedra and Deseree Autor will call the shots for the women’s squad.

According to Suico, the team also brought home a pair of silver medals in team regu and hoop and a bronze effort in the regu during the 2016 edition of the worlds in Thailand.